Let’s start with the most important question- WHAT is digital distribution?
Simply put, it is the process of releasing your creative content online.
The introduction of digital distribution for creative content challenged and changed everyone’s expectations from the industry. This snazzy, cheap and easy form of sharing instantly became popular and the most used mode of distribution.
One of the most important aspects for a musician or a filmmaker is to have his/her work exposed to a wide audience. Whether your goal is to showcase your work or to gain profit, the strategy is pretty much the same. A lot of the next gen indie bands internationally have gained popularity through DIY marketing, and this equally applies to indie film-makers. However, the digital space still remains unexplored by many talented musicians and filmmakers in India. Online sales are not as big on cash as everyone hoped it would be, but it is a great advertising and audience building tool. Word of mouth never really lost its credibility for people to find out about music or movies. Social networking being all about word of mouth is right now one of the best mediums to work with.
The internet need not be a place where you only post pictures, share funny videos and simply engage with people. When used well, it can become quite the tool to actually make money from!
While it's a great idea to put your music or film out for free when you want your work to be discovered, beyond a certain point you, as an artist, should most definitely consider selling it.
HOW? Let's look at the options. Youtube Who would've thought right? You probably spend endless hours on this site, and yet never thought of this as a distribution tool. It's okay. YouTube may not be the greatest place to put your entire movie or album, but it's a great place to advertise. The profit you make is based on how well the ads do. So, obviously, partnering up with YouTube is going to require quite a lot of groundwork in terms of building your profile and following. But, this is also the place where all the traffic is. IndiEarth The site provides exposure to worldwide media with easy pay per track option, and free registration for all media. You also can interact with various artists, and connect with them on other social media platforms. It distributes music to more than 600 stores online including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Zune, eMusic, CD Universe etc. Also the site publishes a write-up about you or an interview on their blog. Distrify Upload the video according to the specifications. The services provided include a market for your film, the ability to embed your trailer on any website, instant transparent accounting for whoever is buying or selling your film, and an easily playable file across all formats. Looks pretty sorted! Pivotshare Sign up for access to embeddable player, the site provides multiple monetization types in terms of revenue models for filmmakers. Films can be offered as a pay-per-view rental, a purchased download, part of a monthly subscription, or any combination. It also equips you with your own web domain, piracy protection and more. Reelhouse Create a Reelhouse account, customize your account, upload the film, either set a price and sell your film or give it away for free to generate a buzz on social using a Reelhouse player. Vimeo on Demand Anyone with a Vimeo Pro Account may upload their film and charge a fee. No fee required. Recommended for filmmakers with existing online presence.
What are the challenges you're most likely to face?
While those who have cracked digital distribution know that this is the future. In India, we still have a long way to go. Few of the challenges you, as an artist, will be most likely to face are: - Unsteady and unpredictable inflow of money.
- Cutting through the free content clutter.
- Piracy; A LOT still needs to be done to shift user behavior from downloading pirated music or movies to actually paying for their favourite artists.